The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), the nation’s largest animal protection organization, has recognized “Food, Animals, and the Environment,” a course in NYU’s Environmental Studies Program and Animal Studies Initiative, as a winner of an Animals and Society Course award.
This award, now in its 12th year and given in partnership with the Animals and Society Institute, recognizes academic excellence in college and university classes that explore the relationships between animals and people.
“At this point, there is hardly an academic field in which animal studies is not thriving as an important sub-discipline,” said Bernard Unti, senior policy adviser and special assistant to the CEO of the HSUS.
“For 12 years, we have recognized the best higher education classes about animals and society, and we continue to see dramatic expansion in the diversity and depth of the courses offered,” said Kenneth Shapiro, executive director of the Animals and Society Institute.
Award categories include the Distinguished New Course Award and the Distinguished Established Course Award. Judges from The HSUS and the Animals and Society Institute evaluate the submissions using criteria such as depth and rigor within the topic, impact on the study of animals and society, and originality of approach.
“Food, Animals, and the Environment,” which received the “Distinguished New Course Award,” is taught by Clinical Assistant Professor Christopher Schlottmann and considers animals’ place in both the food system and in the environment, a topic gaining increased public and scholarly scrutiny. The award includes a cash prize of $1,500 to the winning academic department.
In the fall, NYU announced the creation of an Animal Studies Initiative to support research and curriculum development in the emerging field of animal studies. The Animal Studies Initiative is housed in NYU’s Environmental Studies Program and directed by Dale Jamieson, professor of environmental studies and philosophy and affiliate professor of law at NYU’s School of Law. An Animal Studies minor will be offered beginning in the Spring 2011 semester.
The Initiative received a $1 million gift from Bradley L. Goldberg, former Executive Vice President at Jennison Associates LLC, a subsidiary of Prudential Financial. Goldberg is a graduate of NYU’s Stern School of Business and currently dedicated to philanthropy for animal-related causes. This commitment will support a number of core activities within the Initiative, including NYU’s newly established Animal Studies minor and related scholarship at the University.
In 2007, NYU created an Environmental Studies major, which encompasses the following areas of inquiry: environmental science; environmental values, policy, and law; earth system science; public health; urban environmental problems; climate change; energy systems; and environmental monitoring and justice.